Customarily, the artist – especially when working indoors – uses a suitable easel or table to support the stretcher frame or board on which the canvas or paper has been stretched. This is an important attribute for ensuring that the artist’s work is totally stationery at all times.
If your medium is pastel or watercolours, you don’t want to make the mistake of purchasing an easel that accommodates a painting only in a vertical (or near vertical) position that is only meant for acrylic or oil painting.
For pastel work, an easel that has a forward tilting angle is best. For painting in watercolor, an easel with a work surface that can slant to a variety of varying angle degrees and can also be set in a horizontal position is needed.
Easels suitable for acrylic and oil painting indoors are available in several studio easel styles including A-frame, H-frame, Single- and Double-mast and Convertible. Those that are constructed of solid hardwoods provide the best support for medium to very large canvas or canvas board when working indoors.
If your indoor work space is too small for a studio easel, there are several styles of table easels that can be used for pastel, watercolor, acrylic and oil painting, as well as for drawing. Table easels allow artists to work on any flat surface including a kitchen table. When not in use, they are easy to store.
On the other hand working “plein air” on location outdoors requires an easel that is sturdy, lightweight and adjustable, as well as easy to carry, set up and breakdown for transporting to and from location. Having additional applications, such as adjustable legs with spikes, aids in leveling and securing portable easels in the field, especially on uneven ground surfaces. It also helps to keep the work surface stationery at all times especially against the elements of nature.
Plein air easels for painting in acrylic and oil are available in several styles including tripods or sketchboxes and pochade boxes with tripod stands…